PostHeaderIcon Are You Writing What You THINK You Know?

I’ve been writing this blog for several years and I have to say it’s sometimes tough to come up with a new topic each and every day. However, as long as writers continue to write stories about cops and crime, I suppose there’ll always be questions that need answering.

Today, though, I thought I’d put the shoe on a different foot and have you answer a few questions. I want to see just how much you know about the world of cops and robbers. After all, it’s what you write…right?

So here goes…

(By the way, I’ve seen each of these used incorrectly in at least one book, or on someone’s blog)

1. Revolvers eject spent brass with each pull of the trigger. False

2. Thermal imagers can “see” through black garbage bags, allowing officers to identify the contents without opening the bag. True. Objects inside black poly bags are clearly visible.

3. How many locks are on a pair of handcuffs? Two locks for each cuff. One locks automatically as the cuffs are closed. The second must be manually locked using a key.

4. Speed Loaders are competition shooters who are extremely skilled at loading their weapons in a very short amount of time. False. Go HERE to see speed loaders.

5. Vehicles almost always explode when hit by gunfire. False. You’ve been watching far too much TV.

6. DNA evidence is used to convict defendants in nearly every case. False.

7. The FBI investigates all kidnapping cases. False. Local police investigate abduction cases all the time. Again, you’ve been watching too much TV.

8. Kevlar vests worn by officers are designed to stop punctures from knives and other sharp objects. False. However, there are vests designed to protect against sharp instrument attacks. These are typically found in jail and prison environments.

9. Are cops required to advise a suspect of Miranda (you have the right to…etc.) at the moment of arrest? False, only when suspects are in custody AND prior to questioning. No questioning = no advisement of Miranda. Some departments may have policies that require Miranda advisement at the time of arrest, but I’ve never encountered one.

10. Are police officers required by law (in every state) to wear seat belts while operating a police car? No, some states do not require officers to wear seat belts. The same is true for some delivery drivers and letter carriers.

11. Are all deputy sheriffs sworn police officers? No. Typically, deputies who work in the jails are not police officers.

12. Some California sheriffs also serve as county coroner. True

13. Small town police departments never investigate murder cases. False. All police officers are trained to investigate crimes, and small town officers investigate homicides all the time.

14. Robbery and burglary are synonymous. False. They are not the same, not even close.

Robbery occurs when a crook uses physical force, threat, or intimidation to steal someone’s property. If the robber uses a weapon the crime becomes armed robbery, or aggravated robbery, depending on local law. There is always a victim present during a robbery.

For example, you are walking down the street and a guy brandishes a handgun and demands your money. That’s robbery.

Burglary is an unlawful entry into any building with the intent to commit a crime. Normally, there is no one inside the building when a burglary occurs. No physical breaking and entering is required to commit a burglary. A simple trespass through an open door or window, and the theft of an item or items, is all that’s necessary to meet the requirements to be charged with burglary.

For example, you are out for the night and someone breaks into your home and steals your television. That’s a burglary. Even if you are at home asleep in your bed when the same crime occurs, it’s a burglary because you weren’t actually threatened by anyone.

15. Narcotics dogs are fed small amounts of cocaine at an early age to get them used to the drug. False. Drug dogs are NEVER fed drugs of any type. Instead, they’re showered with love and playtime, and lots of it.

16. Shotguns and rifles are basically synonymous. False. Two totally different animals.

17. It’s fairly easy to knock someone unconscious with a quick blow to the back of the head or neck. False.

18. No one has ever escaped from death row. False.

19. CornerShot is a bendable device that allows officers to shoot around corners. True. Read about CornerShot HERE.

20. Cops are trained to aim for arms, legs, and/or to shoot a knife or gun from a suspect’s hand. False. Officers are taught to shoot center mass of their target. It is extremely difficult to hit small, moving targets while under duress. Again, officers DO NOT shoot hands, legs, elbows, or weapons (well, not on purpose).

21. Officers always shoot to kill. FALSE!! Police officers are NEVER trained to “shoot to kill.” Instead, they’re taught to stop the threat. When the threat no longer exists the shooting stops, if it ever starts. Often, the threat ceases before shots are fired.

22. Registration for Writers’ Police Academy opens on February 14, 2015 (Valentines Day). True

23. 2015 WPA attendees will have the opportunity to fire real guns. True

24. 2015 WPA attendees will experience the most exciting WPA ever produced. True

25. You will attend the 2015 Writers’ Police Academy. We certainly hope so!!

14 Responses to “Are You Writing What You THINK You Know?”

  • marcy says:

    Great post! Here’s my attempt at answering these.

    1. False
    2. False
    3. Two – one on each bracelet
    4. False – speed loaders are devices to allow a shooter to load a revolver more quickly.
    5. False
    6. False
    7. False
    8. False
    9. True
    10. No
    11. Yes
    12. True
    13. False
    14. False
    15. False
    16. False
    17. False
    18. False
    19. False
    20. False
    21. False
    22. True
    23. True
    24. True
    25. – Sadly false

  • Donna Labbe says:

    My daughter and I took the test together and we got them all right. Of course I had my father’s voice yelling in my ear for most of the answers and we laughed over some of the questions. Great test.

    Donna

  • Pat Marinelli says:

    I got them all right only because I’ve been following your blog since you started it.

  • wil emerson says:

    Got enough to prove I listened at PWA….fun stuff!

  • Linda Lovely says:

    Hey, Lee. Not sure I understand the last question. Yes, it’s sad if you don’t plan to attend the 2015 Writers Police Academy. But I’m betting many of your readers DO plan to attend. I certainly would have had to think a lot harder about the answers if I hadn’t been to prior WPA events.

  • Kris Bock says:

    Are you going to share the answers? Are Marcy’s answers correct?

  • Lee Lofland says:

    I’ll post the answers tomorrow.

  • Julie says:

    Let’s do this:

    1. Revolvers eject spent brass with each pull of the trigger. FALSE

    2. Thermal imagers can “see” through black garbage bags, allowing officers to identify the contents without opening the bag. FALSE

    3. How many locks are on a pair of handcuffs? Two

    4. Speed Loaders are competition shooters who are extremely skilled at loading their weapons in a very short amount of time. FALSE

    5. Vehicles almost always explode when hit by gunfire. FALSE

    6. DNA evidence is used to convict defendants in nearly every case. FALSE

    7. The FBI investigates all kidnapping cases. FALSE

    8. Kevlar vests worn by officers are designed to stop punctures from knives and other sharp objects. TRUE

    9. Are cops required to advise a suspect of Miranda (you have the right to…etc.) at the moment of arrest? TRUE

    10. Are police officers required by law (in every state) to wear seat belts while operating a police car? YES

    11. Are all deputy sheriffs sworn police officers? NO

    12. Some California sheriffs also serve as county coroner. TRUE

    13. Small town police departments never investigate murder cases. FALSE

    14. Robbery and burglary are synonymous. FALSE

    15. Narcotics dogs are fed small amounts of cocaine at an early age to get them used to the drug. FALSE

    16. Shotguns and rifles are basically synonymous. FASLE

    17. It’s fairly easy to knock someone unconscious with a quick blow to the back of the head or neck. FALSE

    18. No one has ever escaped from death row. FALSE

    19. CornerShot is a bendable device that allows officers to shoot around corners. TRUE???

    20. Cops are trained to aim for arms, legs, and/or to shoot a knife or gun from a suspect’s hand. FALSE

    21. Officers always shoot to kill. TRUE

    22. Registration for Writers’ Police Academy opens on February 14, 2015 (Valentines Day). TRUE!!!!

    23. 2015 WPA attendees will have the opportunity to fire real guns. TRUE

    24. 2015 WPA attendees will experience the most exciting WPA ever produced. TRUE

    25. You will attend the 2015 Writers’ Police Academy. PERHAPS!!! :)

  • Lee Lofland says:

    So far, no one has a perfect score.

  • Bonnie says:

    Got all but one! Love 22, Will be on line all day!!!! LOL Can’t wait!

  • Lori L. Lake says:

    Here’s my try at the answers:

    1. Revolvers eject spent brass with each pull of the trigger. FALSE

    2. Thermal imagers can “see” through black garbage bags, allowing officers to identify the contents without opening the bag. FALSE

    3. How many locks are on a pair of handcuffs? TWO

    4. Speed Loaders are competition shooters who are extremely skilled at loading their weapons in a very short amount of time. FALSE

    5. Vehicles almost always explode when hit by gunfire. FALSE – LOL!

    6. DNA evidence is used to convict defendants in nearly every case. FALSE

    7. The FBI investigates all kidnapping cases. FALSE

    8. Kevlar vests worn by officers are designed to stop punctures from knives and other sharp objects. FALSE

    9. Are cops required to advise a suspect of Miranda (you have the right to…etc.) at the moment of arrest? NO

    10. Are police officers required by law (in every state) to wear seat belts while operating a police car? NO

    11. Are all deputy sheriffs sworn police officers? NO

    12. Some California sheriffs also serve as county coroner. TRUE

    13. Small town police departments never investigate murder cases. FALSE

    14. Robbery and burglary are synonymous. FALSE

    15. Narcotics dogs are fed small amounts of cocaine at an early age to get them used to the drug. FALSE! Dogs are allergic to many drugs, including cocaine.

    16. Shotguns and rifles are basically synonymous. FALSE

    17. It’s fairly easy to knock someone unconscious with a quick blow to the back of the head or neck. FALSE

    18. No one has ever escaped from death row. FALSE

    19. CornerShot is a bendable device that allows officers to shoot around corners. FALSE because it’s not “bendable” – the gun, sight, and any camera or suppressor are actually around the corner because the weapon stock is shaped like an open L, but the operator can remain unexposed.

    20. Cops are trained to aim for arms, legs, and/or to shoot a knife or gun from a suspect’s hand. FALSE

    21. Officers always shoot to kill. FALSE – they shoot center mass to *stop* the person–to get him or her down and no longer be a threat. If they were “shooting to kill,” they’d walk over and finish the criminal off when he was down!

    22. Registration for Writers’ Police Academy opens on February 14, 2015 (Valentines Day). TRUE

    23. 2015 WPA attendees will have the opportunity to fire real guns. TRUE

    24. 2015 WPA attendees will experience the most exciting WPA ever produced. TRUE

    25. You will attend the 2015 Writers’ Police Academy. THINKING ABOUT IT…

  • marcy says:

    Lee, thank you so much for this! It was definitely a learning experience.

  • Bill Hopkins says:

    I have always wished that writers and journalists would learn the difference between BAIL and BOND. But, alas, that will never happen.

  • Lee Lofland says:

    The same for robbery v. burglary. Drives me nuts. Absolutely nuts.

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